Take Five

Cory Potts, Public Works manager for Yankton, has been in charge collecting items set out for the annual Citywide Cleanup for six years. Potts he sees the event as a great way to clean up around that house. However, he advocates for patience when it comes to waiting for city crews to collect all the debris.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Take Five” is a community spotlight published each Monday in the Press & Dakotan. If you know of someone who might make for an interesting “Take Five” profile, please contact us at 605-665-7811 or news@yankton.net.


Cory Potts has helped the residents of Yankton clean house once a year, every year for the last six years through Yankton’s Citywide Cleanup.

As the Public Works manager, Potts is in charge of the transfer station, garbage collection, recycling collection, storm sewers, street and traffic lights, maintenance of Yankton’s streets and the Citywide Cleanup each spring.

Citywide Cleanup is an annual event that encourages residents to trim trees, and clear brush and debris on the outside of their homes and remove old items they no longer need or want on the inside. These items are set out at the curb and taken by the city with no extra charge.

Potts told the Press & Dakotan the ins and outs of spring cleanup and his experiences with it.

Do you as a Yankton resident take part in Citywide Cleanup?

I do, but I usually take all my stuff to the transfer station. I use the free option at the transfer station. It’s open for four weeks or five weekends, and as long as you are a resident of the City of Yankton and on the city garbage route, it’s free to drop off at the transfer station for those four weeks.

What sorts of things do you see people put out that maybe they shouldn’t?

Typically paint and tires that are not collected at curbside. The other one is grass clippings. Grass is free to drop off at the transfer station after hours or through the main gate, so that’s the main three that are put at the curb that we do not collect. The other ones are dehumidifiers and refrigerators because of the Freon that is in them.

What is the city’s stand on people rummaging through the junk set out for the city to collect?

The city discourages it, but it’s hard to stop it. People are going to scrounge through the stuff, as we call it, we just ask them, don’t make big messes or drag it out in the street.

What else should people know about Citywide Cleanup?

Be patient with it. It takes a long time to run through town, depending on the material that’s out there. Typically, it takes anywhere from eight to ten days to run through the town. So be patient.

What was the oddest thing you’ve seen someone put out for citywide cleanup?

Probably the weirdest thing was a house. Somebody broke apart a house and put it next to the curb. It was a smaller house, but it was a house.

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